roof rack for kayak with oilcanning

I purchased a used 15’ kayak with oilcanning, apparently from being tied down too tightly on a rack. I’m considering types of racks to attach to my Thule crossbars. What do you suggest: J-rack, foam pads, saddles? And why? (My goal is to prevent more oilcanning in the future, as well as to securely fasten the kayak to the car.) Thank you.

If you can space your cross bars with
saddles directly under your bulkheads, that would be the best.

If you can’t then the J cradles would be second best.

jack l

Bulkheads are too far apart
Thanks, JackL. It’s an Aquaterra Scimitar, and the bulkheads are too far apart for the crossbars on my sedan, unfortunately. Given this, it sounds like you recommend a J-rack. (I was originally thinking this, given that I don’t think it would have to be strapped as tight with this setup, but I’m not sure that my logic makes sense.)

I like
foam pads with the kayak placed upside down near the bulkheads if possible.

Go J.
So difficult to get the spacing just right, I’d just go to the J-hooks and be done with it. I’m not a fan of them on tall vehicles but if they’re down lower its a good, safe setup.

If you really want to put the supports at the bulkheads, V-bar carriers mounted to cross bars will let you do that.

v-bars? Neat idea
I’ve never seen a system like this one. Where can you get one, and what is it called? Interesting – I like the looks of it.

That looks like a Goodboy kayak rack.


– Last Updated: May-04-14 3:52 PM EST –

It's a Kayakpro EZ-Vee. It works quite well, and is popular with K1-types who have long skinny kayaks.

I have two on the car now, can carry two 24" kayaks upright, side by side on a Mini.:

Dafishman is right - Goodboy makes a DIY version that's well done, less expensive, not quite as compact or finished as the Kayakpro.

older plastic does that
An older plastic boat is bound to have some oilcanning, and it’s nothing to worry about (assuming the plastic isn’t brittle or crazed).

I would just strap it deck-down on bar pads ($30), or use a stacker ($90) or j-bars ($120). This boat is more than 20 years old, so I wouldn’t recommend spending $300 on a nice vee-rack to try preventing something that’s already happened. Better to spend that money on more useful equipment.

Good point…
…but when the used plastic kayak is long gone, a nice rack will still be in place for the next, presumably better, boat.

I’m with Nate
A basic rack with foam on the bars is cheap and works really well if you put the boats deck down. At least that has been my experience after futzing around for years with all sorts of expensive fancy rack stuff.

Thanks, all
I didn’t realize this boat was that old – it’s in good condition except for the oilcanning. After thinking about it, I’ll simply use the foam pads I currently have, but put the kayak bottoms-up on the pads. One of these years I’ll upgrade everything, but for now $ is definitely an issue regarding a better boat. Thanks, all – it’s been a good discussion.

EZ-Vee being discontinued
I talked with the owner recently and my understanding is that Kayakpro is phasing out their EZ-Vee and availability is limited to the current stock. If you want them, you should act soon.

I have had both EZ-Vee and Goodboy and prefer the Goodboy as it has much wider and thicker pads to support the hull.

I agree that the Kayakpro looks more polished and is “higher-tech”; the longitudinal bars are small but have internal ribs for support and the mounting system has more engineering with custom brackets using threaded allen bolts. The Goodboy uses simple (but larger) tubing, and a simple but entirely effective clamping system (aluminum plates and machine screws). The pads on the Goodboy are 4 inches wide and 1 inch thick and provide much better support than the thin narrow pads on the EZ-Vee.

Each system takes about the same amount of time to clamp to your base rack. If anything the Goodboy has only four bolts to tighten and might be quicker, but neither offers a “quick disconnect” by any means. The head of the bolts on the Goodboy mounts protrude slightly above the surface, but these have never contacted my kayak hulls that ride well above them. Should it be a problem, for example, if you wanted to roll a kayak on its side to help remove it, then you could just place a thin pad on-top of the mounting plate temporarily.

Both of these racks offer a rock-stable eight foot spread and quick loading/unloading.

Disadvantages of both are that wider kayaks will not fit. You can sometimes carry a wider kayak by tilting it on its side but at some point they will ride too high in the Vees to be safely supported. Another potential disadvantage is if you side load, you have to lift your kayak a bit higher than you would for Yakima cradles. You can load from the rear, but the minicell pads are “grippy”, so you might need to put a towel over one or both Vees to allow the kayak to slide.

Goodboy has three models now, two of them offer detachable “Vees” (only the long bars remain on the rack) to improve fuel economy if you don’t want to remove the entire rack between outings.

I have no affiliation with either company.

Greg Stamer

I had one of those old Scimitars for a while – nice boat (I liked the double seal/door on the hatches and the paddle notch behind the seat for assisted entry). The only drawback which you may already have discovered is that the boat likes to wander and weathercock even with the rudder down – I found the weathercocking can be controlled enough to not be annoying by filling one of those 1 or 2 gallon flexible water jugs (or some liter bottles) and placing it (or them) as far back as you can in the stern hatch. Mine was a little flat on the bottom too but it didn’t affect the performance much that I could tell.